Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Gift Cards

I decided to get some gift cards this year to do my own shopping with. Why? Well, our high school has a program for the marching band that if we shop at our grocery Kroger's then 5% of what we spend on our Kroger card (that we refill and use like money) will go towards our own child's account. So that when band comes around next year and we have to spend like $250 on the mandatory summer camp and all the other expenses that add up to over $400 per child (and we have 2 in band), then we will have some money in their accounts. Ok..that was long winded. So I went into Kroger's to get some gift certificates so I could get some credit for our sons. I bought some for Target and Kohl's and another one that I can't say in case one of my kids reads this. I went promptly out to do some shopping. I did go to the unnamed store and had no problems. Then I went into Target and did my shopping. I went to check out and my cards did not work. I explained I had just purchased them and there should be no reason they shouldn't are the receipts! Well, I was told that the Target store has a 24 hour wait time on their cards from when you can buy them and when they can be used. I had no idea...but guess says it right on the cardboard holding the card. Look at that little circle in the upper right hand corner that says $50, well around that $50 in small print it say, "This card will be activated 24 hours after purchase". Yep...says it right there. Did I look at that...nope. Did it tick me it my own fault...yep. (Darn...can't even blame anyone...LOL)
So I thought I would tell you.
We have all heard all the other precautions when buying gift cards. Make sure there are no expiration or percentages off (if not used by a certain time etc..)..but this was a new one to me. So I wanted to pass it on.
Look for deals like this though. If you plan ahead you can save on gas, earn money for causes etc. But it takes some planning. (at least 24 hour ahead for Target).


Jill said...

I would have never thought about that! Thanks for sharing this info!!! I just bought some gift cards from Kroger and didn't look at the terms. I just assumed that they worked like the ones you bought in the actual stores. Luckily, mine are for gifts that will be given on Christmas, so the 24 hour wait will not be an issue!

Jessica said...

I never knew this, but it's very good information to have!

Thank you!

Natasha said...

Good to know! I'm horrible at paying attention to the small print, thank you!
I use gift cards for the holidays as well, because so many companies offer incentives to buy them - buy $40 in GC and get a $10 bonus, etc. If it's a shop that I regularily use, why not take advantage for myself?